Sunday, April 11, 2010

Acid House Books - Buy Here 101

Raving'89 - Neville & Gavin Watson

Acid House exploded in London and Manchester in 1988; then in 1989 the whole of the UK went raving. Raving '89 takes you through a year of suburban raves as seen through the eyes of former skinheads Neville and Gavin Watson, with 200 images that capture the essence of this explosive year: grimy warehouses, lasers, phones the size of bricks, general mayhem and more than a few crimes against fashion.

 Once in a LifeTime - Jane Bussmann

A nostalgic look at Acid House and the dance and social culture that spawned it. The book sees the key to Acid House as fun, and presents a year-by-year celebration of the decade in anecdotal style.

Altered State - Matthew Collins

Journalists Collin and Godfrey have written a fascinating, compelling account of youth culture in conservative Britain during the last decade. They begin with a brief history of the dual elements at the center of the culture: the spacy version of disco known as acid house and the drug Ecstasy. After setting the stage, they describe the migration of unemployed British youths to the island of Ibiza off Spain, where the culture began, and the transplanting of the Ibiza experience to British clubs. Chronicling the spread of acid house and Ecstasy through large parties called raves, the authors explain the movement as a reaction of disillusioned, lower-class youths against a conservative British mainstream. Collin and Godfrey examine the downfall of the drug-based counterculture owing to gang-police violence and Ecstasy-induced deaths and discuss the mainstream commercialization of the hedonistic dance culture into a #1.8 ($2.8) billion industry. This well-written social history will become a standard for those wanting to understand British youth culture and music.?David P. Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

E, The Incredibly Strange history of Ecstasy - Tim Pilcher

"I finally grasped viscerally why the music was made the way it was; how certain tingly textures goosepimpled your skin and particular oscillator riffs triggered the E-rush.... Finally, I understood ecstasy as a sonic science. And it became even clearer that the audience was the star." British-born Spin magazine senior editor Reynolds (Blissed Out; coauthor, The Sex Revolts) offers a revved-up, detailed and passionate history and analysis of the throbbing transcontinental set of musics and cultures known as rave, covering its brightly morphing family tree from Detroit techno and Chicago house to Britain's 1988 "summer of love," on through London jungle and the German avant-garde to the current warehouse parties and turntables of Europe and America. One chapter explains, cogently, the pleasures and effects of the drug Ecstasy (MDMA, or "E"), without which rave would never have evolved; others describe the roles of the DJ, the remix and pirate radio, the "trance" and "ambient" trends of the early 1990s, the rise and fall of would-be stars, the impact of other drugs and the proliferation of current club "subsubgenres." Assuming no prior knowledge in his readers, Reynolds mixes social history, interviews with participants and scene-makers and his own analyses of the sounds, saturating his prose with the names of key places, tracks, groups, scenes and artists. Reynolds prefers and champions the less intellectual, more anonymous and dance-crazed parts of the rave galaxy, "from the most machinic forms of house... through... bleep-and-bass, breakbeat house, Belgian hardcore, jungle, gabba, street garage and big beat." If you don't know what those terms mean, here's how to find out. Two eight-page b&w photo inserts and a discography.  Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House
Ken Goffman and Dan Joy

Although typically defining themselves in opposition to dominant cultures--hence the name--countercultures through history have more in common with each other than previously supposed. In fact, argues this book, breaking with tradition is itself a longstanding tradition, distinguished by Promethean antiauthority impulses, often accompanied by some sort of libertine humanism and individualism (although often conflicted about the merits of technology). Less a history of movements than of moments, Goffman's narrative hits Socrates and Sufism, among select others, en route to a more detailed parsing of the various countercultural moments of the twentieth century; at times, it reads reminiscent of an old-fashioned intellectual history, mapping influences catalyzed in heady Paris or Haight-Ashbury. Yet Goffman steers clear of overtheorizing, keeps readers hooked with hip contemporary comparisons (declaring Calvin Coolidge the Reagan of the early 1900s, for example), and, for decorum's sake, keeps his evident zeal for certain figures (Timothy Leary, for example, a posthumous contributor to this book) more or less in check. Always engaging, often inspiring, and certainly not just for nostalgic boomers. Brendan Driscoll
Copyright © American Library Association.

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